‘It’s all about Jesus’
To say I was brought up by the best of parents would not be an exaggeration. I was brought up on a healthy diet of good books, a love of the outdoors and broad scope for my imagination.
My parents loved God, so we were thoroughly taught about him and his Word, the Bible. It just seemed obvious to believe in Christ and avoid hell. So I grew up believing in God and listening to innumerable sermons as Sunday after Sunday flew by.
At 8 years old I lived in France for six months – I was challenged in every area of my young faith, but what I did learn was the realness of God. Over this time, he became a real friend.
I was baptised when I was about 12, having made a (very nervous) public profession of faith. The thing I never really grasped was the depth of my need for a Saviour. I appreciated that Christ is a ‘friend who sticks closer than a brother’. This goodness fitted in well with my naïve worldview and I really didn’t want to go to hell.
It wasn’t until a year or two later that I really began to wonder about ‘being a Christian’. It seemed a bit boring and I wanted more out of life. When two of my friends died within six months, I was really troubled. How did being a Christian make any of this different? Death was real, life was real, but God was beginning to seem less and less real.
Over the next few months I dabbled in more unhealthy friendships, dabbled in ‘real sins’ and tried to understand what the point of it all was. It wasn’t until the church we attended split that I got really angry, ‘If this is what Christians are like, I don’t want anything to do with them’, I remember venting to a friend.
What she replied has remained in my heart ever since: ‘Christianity isn’t all about Christians, it’s all about Jesus – get to know Jesus!’ For some reason I actually took her seriously and made up my mind to get to know Jesus for myself.
I started reading the Bible seriously and was horrified and delighted when the Holy Spirit started convicting me through the Word. I did something rather unorthodox and did a ‘deal’ with God – hardly recommendable – but God has certainly held up his end of the ‘bargain’. I swore God could do anything with my life as long as life wasn’t boring.
Well, life hasn’t been boring since then. I have made a million and one mistakes, but God has been taking me on the most amazing journey. He is changing me and he is faithful to complete this in me. It’s hard work and I would have given up long ago, but gradually I begin to see changes in my life.
Firstly, I was convicted of my sin and arrogance. I had lived outwardly (more or less) as a Christian, but I had done it out of my own strength, and that simply didn’t work. I have been realising God’s need to punish Jesus so brutally, because my sin is so serious, and the freedom that living in God’s grace gives me.
Secondly, God has been revealing the importance of the journey. The destination will be awesome, but how he takes me there is equally important. God knows the journey and there is grace for that journey. And thirdly, just how amazing Jesus is, how incredible God is – and how necessary the Holy Spirit is to Monday mornings.
Recently, my husband and I lost our first child through miscarriage, and, yes, it hurt, but I know experientially that Scripture’s promises are true. I praise God for the power of his living Word. Ultimately God is the author of my faith and so all I can say is soli deo gloria.